Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
There are many ways that simplifying improves your quality of life. But let’s focus on FINANCES.
One encouraging effect of simplifying is that it also saves you money. Decluttering and simplifying makes you more thoughtful of what you purchase going forward. You see what you have wasted money on and reign in your purchases, which then helps keep clutter out and money IN!
Do these simple things and see how much money you can save!
WAIT TO PURCHASE
Don’t get caught up in the advertising hype. It’s easy to do. Marketers are professionals and they know what they are doing. Before you know it, you’re clicking away and ordering something you’re convinced you HAVE to have.
They tell you that you deserve it or that it will improve your life in some way. Very few things live up to what they promise. More often, they turn into buyer’s remorse and then clutter.
A lot of money (and headaches) can be saved by simply practicing the 24-hour rule. If you think you want to buy something, give it 24 hours before you make a decision
This prevents impulse purchases and helps you to be MORE INTENTIONAL WITH SHOPPING. The additional time allows you to think more clearly about what is a true need vs. a want.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Ever be on a very tight budget? Guess what you learn? (Your grandparents know this!) You learn how to MAKE DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. It causes you to be more creative in coming up with solutions when you don’t have something.
Sometimes it’s using a tool that is close enough to get the job done. Other times, it’s borrowing from a neighbor, friend, or family member. (And returning said item!)
The ease of ordering on Amazon has made it the go-to. It is the least path of resistance and it doesn’t require you to think outside the box. However, when you want to learn how to simplify your life and save money, that sometimes means trading the easiest ‘solution’ for a better one.
If after 24 hours, you determine that you really need or want this item and it’s not something you can simply borrow or creatively solve otherwise, it’s time to SHOP AROUND. You can save a good amount of money simply by checking around to see how much the item costs at various places.
While researching and comparing is slightly less simple since it takes more time, it does save money. It all depends on which commodity you need most in your life right now.
REMEMBER YOUR STUFF DOESN’T DEFINE YOU
As you seek to simplify your life and save money, remember that your stuff does not define you. Read that again. Your identity and worth are not found in what you own.
Changing your spending habits likely won’t feel easy initially, but as you keep your goals in mind and remind yourself of your values, it does get easier.
WANT TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT MONEY
Regain control of it. That does not mean that you will never stress about finances ever again, but the more that you pay attention to WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING and make it work for you, the less stressed you’ll be.
Look over your credit card statements, receipts, and bills. If you don’t currently have a budget, now is the time! Write down where your money is going. See where you can cut back. Many times people get stressed and overwhelmed with finances so their coping mechanisms is to ignore it. Ignoring it does not make the financial challenges go away…it makes them worse. The only way to make meaningful adjustments is by analyzing where your money is going and adjust as necessary.
CONSIDER YOUR LIFE STAGE & CURRENT NEEDS
Your finances will look different depending on the life stage you’re in. Your needs and priorities will change with time.
Consider where you can save now. Don’t forget to also be planning for the future. Consult with a financial advisor and CPA to help you make informed choices with your money.
As your needs continue to change, re-evaluate your spending and adjust as needed. Life circumstances can arise and alter your plans as well. Create an emergency fund no matter how young you are so that you’re prepared for the unexpected.
You’ll be less stressed with your finances if you have a well-funded emergency account that can be drawn on if necessary. As you learn to LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS and plan for the future, you’ll find more peace with your finances.
CREATE A SYSTEM FOR BILLS AND PAPERWORK
Tired of receiving past due bills? Create a system for paying your bills and then also for keeping your paperwork organized.
Have a designated space that bills waiting to be paid go. Check on it twice a week to make sure you’re staying on top of the due dates. Another option is to set up autopay for everything that you can.
The advantage of auto-pay is that it keeps you from having to remember the various due dates for bills. You’ll want to still keep an eye on what money you have going out though.
Go with whichever system works best for you. Review your finances at least monthly to keep current on your numbers and make sure that you’re staying within the budget you set up for yourself.
Remember: Simplifying your finances will not only help you save money but will lead to a happier healthier life.
Holli Lewandowski, Certified Credit Counselor, Educator, and Advocate
Excerpted from Julia at Thesimplicityhabit.com